“What am I to say sorry about?”
When Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was asked in ANC’s Headstart last Aug. 26 if he’d apologize for corrupt and human rights abuses during his father’s regime if he runs for president or vice president, this was his reply.
He added that he was surprised to know that the young people would say that “during the Late President Ferdinand Marcos’s reign, life was more comfortable and simply better.” They’d say that there were many programs and projects that were beneficial, and since “he was replaced, Filipinos no longer experience that.”
Then here comes “opportunist politicians” who comment on issues just for personal gain like Vice President Jejomar Binay. He said in a roundtable discussion aired live last Sept. 5 on TV 5 that the country should move on from the human rights violations committed by the Marcoses. Binay, a former human rights lawyer opposed to Martial Law and a supporter of the late President Aquino, has also been eyeing Bongbong Marcos Jr. to be his running mate in the 2016 elections.
Well, there are several things the Marcoses should be sorry about.
The late president gained absolute rule by declaring Martial Law and by suspending the writ of habeas corpus, an order that protects a person against illegal imprisonment by requiring him or her to undergo court proceedings before getting imprisoned.
Together with his cronies, he faced allegations of acquiring ill-gotten wealth. Up to now, each Filipino is burdened by unfair tax ranges just to pay national debt since he loaned large amounts of money from western governments and World Bank.
After he was ousted by the historic 1986 EDSA Revolution, lenders still demand payment with interest. Thus, the next presidents – from the late Cory Aquino to her son, Benigno Aquino III – were pressured. According to The Guardian, Marcos also most likely stole up to $10 billion Filipino money during his time.
It’s hard to forget Imelda Marcos’s around 3,000 pairs of shoes and jewels, together with the Marcos’s mansions and bank accounts. The injustices that happened to Filipinos just for them to be silenced during the regime weren’t easy to digest. Activists and mass communicators who rallied, wrote, and broadcasted against his administration were arrested, tortured, and killed. At least 7,000 people were reportedly tortured, 2,000 salvaged, and 1,000 disappeared during Martial Law.
The Marcoses won’t be successful in putting all these ugly truths in Philippine history under the rag if Filipinos care enough to remember its negative impact. History textbooks containing Martial Law facts used in schools and universities must be fact-checked. Media practitioners, being the ones oppressed in the past, should also focus on making the youth remember the importance of the freedom of speech and of the press by writing and broadcasting more about it. If all would tolerate these brainwashers, most likely history would repeat itself.